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New Year's Eve Celebrations

By December 15, 2011

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Photo by Susan Cole Kelley, courtesy of First Night BostonIn cities all around the world, New Year's Eve is a high-flying party night; but there are other styles of celebrating too, including family-friendly festivities. Below is a gathering of New Year's Eve events in the U.S., Europe, and worldwide, brought to you by our About.com Guides.

New Year's Eve, in the US
  • New Year's Eve in New York City: Probably the most famous New Year's Eve event is the Ball Drop at midnight in Times Square, which has been a tradition for over 100 years. Over a million people jam into Times Square for the countdown.
  • Long Island: Manhattan's neighbor has balls and other venues where you can kick up your heels.
Lots more destinations in the U.S. and around the world --
  • Washington DC: Take a cruise on the Potomac River, go to a family First Night event, dress up for a gala...
  • Southeast US: From Atlanta's 800-pound Peach Drop to a family-friendly First Night, ring in the New Year however you like; but you will probably eat black-eyed peas on the big night. It's a southern tradition.
  • Nashville: Nashville is "Music City U.S.A.", so expect plenty of live music at its New Year's Eve parties.
  • New Orleans: Highlights include fireworks on the Mississippi River, festivities in Jackson Square, and a party at a children's museum.
  • Los Angeles: Hollywood stages a giant New Year's Eve celebration; party-goers can also choose from many balls, bashes, and extravaganzas.
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul: Family events celebrate New Year's early in the day; later, party lovers can step out to a masked ball.
  • Baltimore: Fireworks in the Inner Harbor are a highlight. (2010 info.)
  • Oklahoma City: An annual Opening Night event celebrates New Year's Eve with fireworks and musical performances. (2010 info.)
  • Charlotte: Family-friendly First Night Charlotte has a "People's Procession"; party-goers can try a cruise or a black tie ball.
New Year's Eve, in Europe
  • Hogmanay, in Scotland: Hogmanay is a four-day blast with street parties, fireworks, wild fire festivals, and of course the singing of Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve. In Edinburgh, throngs of people join hands to sing.
  • New Year's Eve in London: Head to the fireworks display at the London Eye, beside the Thames River. London also has a giant New Year's Day Parade.
  • New Year's Eve in Berlin: More than half a million people enjoy the world's biggest open-air party, near the famous Brandenburg Gate. (2010 info.)
  • New Year's Eve in Paris: The Eiffel Tower explodes in lights at midnight, and New Year's Eve starts of a month of "Bonne Annee" good cheer in Paris.
  • New Year's Eve in Italy: La Festa di San Silvestro is celebrated on December 31, and many towns have fireworks, music, and dancing. Wear red underwear, for good luck! Expect big crowds at events in Italy's top tourist cities.
  • New Year's Eve in Eastern Europe: In Russia, New Year's is a bigger holiday than Christmas; fireworks shine over the Danube River in Slovakia... Many cities have concerts and celebrations, and Christmas markets that stay open until Dec. 31st.
  • New Year's Eve in Scandinavia: Find fireworks, parties, and festivities in all the capital cities; and an opportunity to celebrate New Year's twice (in different time zones.)
Around the World
  • New Year's Eve in Brazil: It's called Réveillon here, and Copacabana has the biggest party in Rio, and possibly the world.
  • New Year's Eve in the Caribbean: The tiny British Virgin Islands celebrate New Year's Eve big-time, and St. Maarten lights up the sky with fireworks. Other countries have colorful events from Christmas to New Year's, such as the Bahamas' Junkaroo Parade.
  • New Year's Eve in Mexico: Mexico City has a huge street festival for "Feliz año nuevo", with fireworks and firecrackers. And --as in Italy-- wear that red underwear, for good luck!
  • New Year's Eve in Africa: Different countries have different customs, and even different dates for New Year's; but party-goers can count on New Year's Eve bashes in South Africa, where Cape Town also has a giant Minstrel Carnival on New Year's Day.
Photo by Susan Cole Kelley, courtesy of First Night Boston.
December 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm
(1) david says:

No mention of Las Vegas?

December 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm
(2) Teresa says:

How funny…I was looking for Vegas too!

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